About the Book

Book Protagonist: Leto II, Ghanima, Paul Atreides, Duncan Idaho, Jessica
Publication Date: 1976
Genre: Action and Adventure, Science Fiction


Children of Dune

By Frank Herbert

'Children of Dune' uses quotes to explain the thoughts of Frank Herbert to the readers; these quotes show the direct relationship between people and their beliefs.

Children of Dune’ perfectly portrays the struggle for political dominance and the destructive force of fanatical religion. The novel uses quotes to speak the mind of Frank Herbert on ecology, politics, religion, and family which are the four main themes in ‘Children of Dune’. The novel is the third book in the Dune series. It is a pivotal novel that concludes the life of Paul Atreides. The book sets the storyline in the direction of the Golden Path, a plan formulated by Leto II.

Children of Dune Quotes

Government and Power

Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class – whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.

The quote above is a statement Frank Herbert uses to describe the nature of many democratic governments. From his view, governments cater to the rich, but the poor suffer; this becomes a problem as countries that boast democracy fade into an aristocracy. Frank Herbert’s Dune universe is a reflection of modern-day government. From his perspective, governments are not interested in making citizens live better lives. Instead, governments follow a pattern of amassing wealth and making that wealth accessible to a select few of the population. He also talks about how the rich steer the tides of politics and power.

Good governance never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of those who govern. The machinery of government is always subordinate to the will of those who administer that machinery. The most important element of government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.

In the quote above, Frank Herbert talks about how leaders affect the governance of states. From his ideology, a government can never be good if those who run it are of bad character. The quote shows how flawed the process of electing leaders into government is. From Frank’s perspective, there should be an intense method of choosing leaders, a method that would filter out the good from the bad.

One uses power by grasping it lightly. To grasp too strongly is to be taken over by power, and thus to become its victim.

The quote explains that power is a double-edged sword that should get handled delicately. Frank Herbert understood that greed is a primary reason for the creation of tyrants. He described power as a drug that gets one addicted to it. Its addiction results in destruction and death.

Religion and Belief

There are illusions of popular history which a successful religion must promote: Evil men never prosper; only the brave deserves the fair; honesty is the best policy; actions speak louder than words; virtue always triumphs; a good deed is its own reward; any bad human can be reformed; religious talismans protect one from demon possession; only females understand the ancient mysteries; the rich are doomed to unhappiness.

Frank Herbert was a person who hated the control religion had over people’s minds. In the Dune series, he showed disdain for how people mindlessly follow religion without questioning those at the top. Frank Herbert explained why people fail to realize that bad people never suffer as much as they imagine. In ‘Children of Dune,’ he expresses how much he hated the lies people believe.

If all those around you believe some particular thing, you will soon be tempted to share in that belief.

Frank Herbert uses this quote to explain how people follow a belief because of association. In the Dune series, the Fremen were a group of people whose ideologies and beliefs made them follow one man on a bloody campaign across the universe. By the end of the Fremen religious campaign, 61 billion people had lost their lives, and the same man they followed admitted that he had failed and only led them to a bloody rampage. Frank Herbert uses the case of Paul to explain that shared belief is a deadly weapon.

Conquering the Shadow 

The child who refuses to travel in the father’s harness, this is the symbol of man’s most unique capability. I do not have to be what my father was. I do not have to obey my father’s rules or even believe everything he believed. It is my strength as a human that I can make my own choices of what to believe and what not to believe, of what to be and what not to be.

‘Children of Dune’ is a novel that focuses on the story of those who came after Paul Atreides. Frank Herbert uses the quote to explain a situation the children of great people experience. He explains that the greatest wish for any child whose parent is great is to stand out of the shadow cast by their parent. Leto understood that he needed to break away from the shadow cast by his father, a man who became the most powerful emperor above everyone who came before him.

The Fluidity of the Future

Abandon certainty! That’s life’s deepest command. That’s what life’s all about. We’re a probe into the unknown, into the uncertain. Why can’t you hear Muad’Dib? If certainty is knowing absolutely an absolute future, then that’s only death disguised! Such a future becomes now!

The quote above talks about how one should never be rigid when one plans for the future. The future is unknown, and minute events can create massive change; this quote talks about how one should be open to whatever comes their way. From the novel, Paul discovered that even after the Fremen jihad, many people still hold on to the rigid belief of the Muad’Dib; this greatly angered him as he realized that stagnation draws disaster.

The Circle of Evil

Atrocity is recognized as such by victim and perpetrator alike, by all who learn about it at whatever remove. Atrocity has no excuses, no mitigating argument. Atrocity never balances or rectifies the past. Atrocity merely arms the future for more atrocity. It is self-perpetuating upon itself – a barbarous form of incest. Whoever commits atrocity also commits those future atrocities thus bred.

One thing frank Herbert tries to pass across to the readers of his novel is the concept of letting go. Frank Herbert explains that continuous evil never solves anything. He explains that it creates more conflict in the future.


Knowing was a barrier which prevented learning.

 Knowledge is powerful, but it can create a stiff environment that hampers change and evolution. Frank Herbert used the quote above to explain that relying on a particular knowledge as fact in the face of new evidence is a dangerous road no government or individual should take.


If I always behave with propriety, no matter what it costs me to suppress my own desires, then that is the measure of me. Such is the essence of self-control.

Self-control is a virtue that becomes an incredible asset to whoever possesses it. Frank Herbert uses the quote above to explain that no matter the circumstance or situation, the best weapon to utilize is not violence but restraint.


What message does Children of Dune pass across?

‘Children of Dune’ shows the complexities of politics and the effect of religious dominance over a population. Frank Herbert used the novel to portray his ideas on why governments should get governed better.

What perspective does Children of Dune use?

‘Children of Dune’ uses the third-person perspective for narration. Frank Herbert’s choice of third-person created a warmer and much more detailed world giving him the power to make characters fluid and actions intense.

Who is the main character in Children of Dune?

The primary character in ‘Children of Dune’ is Leto II. The action surrounds him and there is a greater focus on the role he plays in the story.

What is an interesting quote from Children of Dune?

Here is a quote from ‘Children of Dune’:
“To know a thing well, know its limits; only when pushed beyond its tolerance will its true nature be seen.”

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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